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Once you are free from drugs, you have the ability to think more clearly and can educate yourself about your addiction. Learning about your addiction means gaining insight into which people, events, sensory experiences and habits trigger cravings for drugs. Most drug rehab facilities can help you explore those triggers so that you can make deliberate efforts to avoid or manage them when you transition back into your daily life.
For the average person who does not suffer from alcohol addiction, a drink every now and again is both normal and non-problematic. For the alcohol addict though, a single drink every few days is not enough. The addict’s body has become dependent on alcohol for daily functioning, while the mind is convinced that it is not possible to get through the day without drinking.
As a person continues to use drugs, the brain adapts by reducing the ability of cells in the reward circuit to respond to it. This reduces the high that the person feels compared to the high they felt when first taking the drug—an effect known as tolerance. They might take more of the drug to try and achieve the same high. These brain adaptations often lead to the person becoming less and less able to derive pleasure from other things they once enjoyed, like food, sex, or social activities.
As a person’s drug abuse turns into addiction, they will develop an increased tolerance to the drug, requiring larger doses of it in order to achieve the desired “high.” If addiction is left untreated, the end result is always devastation and loss on every level; the further along in the disease of addiction a person gets, the harder it will be for them to recover. Thus, treating drug addiction as soon as possible is always the best option.
Alcohol detox– In most cases of long-term alcohol addiction, detox must occur prior to formal treatment. This part of the healing process involves stopping the consumption of alcohol and all other drugs. This gives the body time to cleanse itself of all harmful toxins. Withdrawal symptoms may be an issue (e.g., depression and anxiety, mood swings, sweats, chills and irritability). They all depend upon the specifics of the addiction. Physical and mental health care and support is provided, as needed.1Therapeutic medication– The need for therapeutic medication depends on the individual patient’s needs, experiences and circumstances. If a drug is used, it should be medically-managed by a physician.
Different rehabs are based upon different philosophies, and this can mean the enhancement of addiction treatment with distinct specialized services. For example, a religious rehab may include worship services or religion classes and other offerings that enhance the spiritual side of recovery while a holistic alcohol rehab may include yoga, meditation, acupuncture and other alternative methods of treatment.
The specific medicines prescribed will vary depending upon your own particular experience of withdrawal and the symptoms you are manifesting, and it may be that certain medications will not be appropriate depending on your substance of abuse or your own personal health history; an experienced medical professional will be able to make those decisions to ensure you go through withdrawal as safely as possible. What happens in rehab?